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7 tips to improve your toddler’s vocabulary

22 Jul 2016


1. Read out aloud to your toddler
Sit your child down and read him a story out loud. Involve your child in the reading process by letting them turn the pages. Show them pictures in the book. Keep on asking questions on what they think might happen next. This practice will help them to connect specific words with what they see in the picture book as well as improve your toddler's vocabulary.

2. Converse with them
Ask your child questions, if you leave her at the daycare then you might be able to ask her what she did at the daycare that day. If grandma takes care of her while you’re off to work, then ask what she and grandma did all day long. Allow her time to think about her answer and do not correct her even if she says something that is not quite correct. You do not want to lower her self-esteem when it comes to speaking. Low self-esteem is a big setback when it comes to trying to improve your toddler’s vocabulary.

3. Sing to your child
Incorporate your own words into popular melodies. Have your child sing along with you and if need be – act the words out so your child will understand better. This is why “Itsy bitsy spider” is so popular. Not only will your child know about spiders and how they move, but they might be able to pronounce the words properly too. This is a classic way to improve your toddler’s vocabulary.

4. Get them to ‘show and tell’
Take your toddler to a park, a beach or downstairs play area. Have her collect some items wherever you go. Let her bring them to you and then ask her to name them for you. You can say the word out loud and ask her to repeat it after you. Make it fun, by adding in descriptions and incorporating the show and tell items into imaginative tales.

5. No baby talk allowed
Kiddies will often revert back to ‘baby talk’ because it’s comfortable and familiar. It takes too long to learn the proper words. Don’t let this happen. Just remember that you are on a mission to improve your toddler’s vocabulary!

6. Picture reading technique
Use a book with pictures of common objects such as toys, food, clothing and furniture; arrange them all by category. Show the picture of the object and point to the actual item for your child. Then ask her to name the object and describe it.

7. Word of the day
Pick a word of the day and explain what it means to your toddler. Encourage your child to use that word as many times as possible. Make a game out of it or reward them every time they use it appropriately. Prizes could range from shiny stickers to little stars on their reward charts. These enable your toddler to speak properly and help you to improve your toddler’s vocabulary.

The Asian Parent Editorial (No Date). 7 tips to improve your toddler’s vocabulary. The Asian Parent Singapore (Online). Available:

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